Litter bugs

When my kids were at our local primary school I often used to collect litter on the school run. They've all left primary school now but I still walk to the local shops and post-office and pick up litter on the way. I did post-office walks in successive days recently and decided to collect litter on both days. Normally I wouldn't bother on the second day, since I figure it takes a while for new litter to accumulate. As always when doing something new I discovered something new.

I discovered that on the first day I collected the most obvious litter and on the second day I collected the less obvious litter, which, the day before, had been invisible because it had been hidden by the more obvious litter.

I also discovered that sometimes I see a piece of litter but don't pick up. My monkey mind creates a rational explanation for not picking it up. Perhaps because someone else is walking by. That's a bug - I'm not satisfied with that behaviour. I have resolved to use picking up litter as a discipline-practice. From now on the litter run will only count as successful if I pick up every piece of litter I see. I'm going to use the technique Jerry Weinberg reminded me of when he coached me in a previous blog entry comment. When I see a piece of litter I'm going to say the word litter. That I can easily do. And I'm going to associate saying the word with the action of picking it up.